Three Derby runners confirmed for Godolphin: Nations Pride to be supplemented

Jim McGrath
J A McGrath

Nations Pride has come out of his final serious gallop in good order and heads to Epsom after the decision was taken to supplement him for the G1 Cazoo Derby on Saturday 4 June.

Trainer Charlie Appleby is looking forward to saddling three runners in the world’s most famous Classic, with Nations Pride joining stablemates Nahanni, winner of the Listed Blue Riband Trial, and Walk Of Stars, runner-up in the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial.

“We have three nice horses with slightly different profiles,” Appleby said today. “With a week to go, if they can turn up fit and well, they won’t look out of place,” he added.

Nations Pride, a son of Darley stallion Teofilo, has made rapid progress since returning from Dubai, where he won the Jumeirah Derby at Meydan in February.On his first start back in Britain, he then landed the Listed Newmarket Stakes, over a mile and a quarter, by an impressive seven lengths, taking his record to four wins and a second from 5 starts.

“He worked on Wednesday with a reliable and very able lead horse and he looked very good. Importantly, he has done well since. I have been delighted with him since the gallop,” Appleby reported.

“He has the right profile for Epsom. He’s got five runs under his belt, having won the Jumeirah Derby and then taking the Newmarket Stakes, where William (Buick) was very pleased the way he went through the line, which has given us as good an indication as any that the step up to a mile and a half is going to suit him.

“Therefore, we think he deserves to be supplemented on Monday morning,” he added. Nations Pride seeks to follow previous Godolphin Derby winners, Masar (2018) and Adayar (2021), in bringing experience as a valuable attribute to the English Classic that was first run in 1780. Masar was having his ninth start when winning, Adayar his fifth.

Appleby believes experience is a key factor for any three-year-old going to Epsom. “On Derby Day, there’s a huge crowd, the fanfare of it all. I feel you have to have experience to take into it…”

The pre-race activities can be as daunting as the race itself, according to the trainer. “Cantering a mile and a half down to the start, as well. There’s a lot of challenges for a three-year-old early in his career, and the more experience is beneficial, which is what he brings to the table,” he said.

On Derby Day, Nations Pride will be having his sixth race, while Nahanni will be facing the starter for the fifth time in his career, with Walk Of Stars also saddling up for his fifth outing.

Appleby said: “Nahanni was last seen winning the Blue Riband Trial. He’s a son of Frankel and obviously, we know what he can do now. He’s won over the mile and a half (twice), so he ticks that box, and he’s also won on the track. He’s got the right mindset, too.

“With that profile, he won’t look out of place in the Derby. He went to the Epsom gallops morning on Monday, and we were very pleased with him. Adam Kirby rode him and he was very happy with him.

“He was joined at Epsom by Walk Of Stars, who we saw finish second in the Lingfield Derby Trial. He’s a challenge to himself, as well as us. But he’s definitely grown up since Lingfield and I’m pleased how he has come out of Epsom, as well,” he added.

When asked whether confidence levels were high on the prospect of lifting a third Derby for Godolphin’s Moulton Paddocks, Appleby said: “You need a lot of luck around Epsom, but hopefully our three horses have the right credentials to be bang there at the finish.”